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7 regional suburbs to watch in 2022

First home buyers are particularly struggling to find the right property in the city (and in a lot of our pricier regions).

7 regional suburbs to watch in 2022

25 February 2022

Everyone wants to get into the property market right now, but not everyone is keen on buying in the city. 

First home buyers are particularly struggling to find the right property in the city (and in a lot of our pricier regions).

"The market is quite tough at the moment for first home buyers," Andrew Erlandson, Franchise Principal of RAMS Toowoomba, confirms. "We are hearing from a lot of agents that houses are selling almost without advertising and marketing, and are selling within minutes of being put online.

"There is also a real fear of missing out that is making first home buyers panic and offer more for properties that would usually be cheaper."

Having said that, it can also be a profitable time to buy as, although interest rates may shift, they are still quite low and there’s opportunity for mortgage repayments to be lower than rent. A lot of places also aren’t at their price peak, Erlandson adds.

For those who want to escape to the country for a more reasonable sum, we've pulled together a list of the regional suburbs across Australia where interest is growing.

According to REA data, these suburbs are experiencing a surge in demand from highly engaged buyers from the 12-months to November 2021. The characteristics of highly-engaged buyers includes, but is not limited to; the number of visits to a listing, looking at the photos for a listing multiple times, saving the property, sharing the property and/or making an enquiry with the agent.

Here are seven regional hotspots on the rise.

1.     Sussex Inlet, NSW

This south coast suburb has been getting a lot of attention in the media recently and we’re now seeing a whopping 223% increase of engaged buyers looking at properties to buy, compared to the same time last year.


This home at 91 Suncrest Avenue in Sussex Inlet could be yours. Picture:

Sussex Inlet is just south of Jervis Bay, home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world.

It's just under three hours from Sydney, with its closest hub, Nowra, around half an hour away. The area isn't flush with restaurants and cafes just yet, but you've got some of the state's best produce nearby. With oysters straight from the sea, farm-fresh dairy products and the best of south coast wines, there's plenty to whet your appetite.

To snap-up a house in this stunning area, you're looking at a median house price of just under $600,000 ($582,500).

2.     Adelaide River, NT

There appears to be a pique in interest in this little town on the border of Litchfield National Park, with a 178% increase in engaged buyers looking at its property listings. While Adelaide River is only a small town of around 350 residents, it's just over an hour from Palmerston and Darwin, making it relatively close to the action up north.

Adelaide River is best known for its wildlife, and residents may come across a crocodile or two.

While we don't have enough house price data for Adelaide River, currently most properties for sale seem to sit just either side of $300,000.

3.     Nelly Bay, QLD

This cute little cove is a suburb of Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville. The popular backpacker destination saw the highest jump in engaged buyers in all of regional Queensland this November, at 283%. It is full of natural glory, including stunning beaches, bushland, native wildlife and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef.


This gorgeous two-bed apartment on the water sold in 2021 for $460k. Picture:

Those who call Nelly Bay home will find no shortage of leisure activities to keep them entertained, from snorkelling and sailing to hiking through the surrounding national park. It’s also home to some cute eateries and nightlife options, thanks to a thriving backpacker culture.

The average house here costs around $378,000, while units are a bit cheaper with a median price of $340,000.

If you've ever truly wanted to trade in the city grind for paradise, this is the kind of place for you.

4.     Kingscote, SA

This suburb of Kangaroo Island is seeing an upturn in interest as buyers return after the 2020 bushfires. It had the highest increase of ready-to-purchase buyers for regional South Australia at 258%. Kingscote is the unofficial 'capital' of the island and home to its only airport (the ferries, however, dock on the other side).


Homes on Kangaroo Island come in all shapes and sizes, but always with nature on their doorstep! Picture:

Foodies will love this destination, with plenty of access to great restaurants, fresh produce and local beer and gin distilleries.

Craving city life? You're not too far from Adelaide – only a three and a half hour drive, including the ferry, or 40-minutes by plane.

While the market dropped to a six-year low in 2020 following devastating bushfires on the island, it appears prices are going up, with the median in Kingscote currently sitting at $275,000.

5.     St Helens, TAS

After winning gold in Tassie's Top Tourism Towns in 2020, it seems like a lot of people had the same idea: why not make St Helens home?


The sale of this $1.6 million home may have pushed the median price up a notch. Picture:

Interest in the north-east holiday spot has been revving up, with house prices rising $50,000 since the start of the year, and doubling since 2015. St Helens was the second most in demand regional suburb in Tasmania with engaged buyers, after Smithton.

Nowadays, the median house price in St Helens is sitting around $450,000, while the median unit price is $285,000.

In their downtime, residents of St Helens might be enjoying the benefits of being situated in the island's second-largest fishing port. You're a short 30-minute drive from the world-renowned Bay of Fires and a couple hours from Launceston.

6.     Metung, VIC

Around four hours from Melbourne, this spot in the Gippsland region is a stunning holiday destination for Victorians. Victorians and interstate purchasers are recognising its potential, with the suburb seeing a 219% increase in listing interactions from engaged buyers from the 12-months to November.

Plenty of prime property exists, with many large, luxury homes and plots of land currently on the market.

The median house price currently sits at around $575,000 with existing homes tending to be on the larger side.


Homes in Metung aren't cheap, but they are luxurious. This four-bedder will set you back $1.1 million. Picture:

There may still be opportunity to nab a bargain in Metung or its surrounding suburbs in the Gippsland Lakes.

Outdoorsy types will love this corner of the globe, where you can go boating, fishing or water skiing on the lake or hike in the Gippsland Ranges.

7.     Mount Barker, WA

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a lovely little home in wine country, four hours from Perth? It appears we’re not the only ones with November marking a 207% increase in engaged buyers interacting with the suburb from the past 12-months.

Mount Barker (not to be confused with the suburb of the same name in Adelaide) is a top tree-change destination for Western Australians. There are multiple wineries and small farms nearby, plus the coast and beautiful beaches within a 40-minute drive. 


Mount Barker is a great location for tree-changers. Picture:

The median house price in Mount Barker is currently just over $284,000. While it might not sound like much compared to other areas on this list, this price has been rising steadily for the past few years.


This article was originally published on, ‘7 regional suburbs to watch in 2022

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